According to researchers and pollsters, the number one reason for filing bankruptcy is medical debt. Unfortunately, bankruptcy comes with a number of downsides that can pile up quickly. You can lose your house in bankruptcy, as well as your car, your stocks and your bonds. Bankruptcy also stains your credit rating for a decade, making it close to impossible to get a loan for any reason.
Nevertheless, people will often plunge themselves into bankruptcy in order to try to get out from under unmanageable medical debt.
The Kaiser Family Foundation did an in-depth survey to study the problem of medical debt and found that slightly more than one out of four Americans struggle to pay their medical bills. Those who struggle include people with household incomes exceeding $100,000 (14 percent of them struggle to pay medical bills) and those with health insurance (20 percent struggle with medical debt).
Two-thirds of those struggling with medical bills say that their financial problems stem from a one-time medical event rather than treatment for a chronic condition.
Most of those struggling with medical bills (71 percent) say the bills were for their own care, rather than for a spouse or child or other relative.
According to the Kaiser survey, the most common source of medical bills are doctor visits, tests and lab fees, but the biggest bills come from hospital stays and visits to ER.
If you are struggling with medical bills and looking for a way to avoid bankruptcy and its many downsides, you can speak with a Cantwell & Goldman, PA attorney experienced in negotiating debt reductions. In many cases, those reductions will mean you pay from 10 cents on the dollar to 50 cents.
Contact us to discuss your circumstances and priorities.